Button behavior- why won't you lay eggs!?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by gorabbitgo, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my mated female, Violet, and her male are in their own condo and very happy. She lays an egg every day at about 5pm.

    My other four females, however, haven't started laying yet. Two are bigger than Violet and got their grown-up feathers earlier, so i presume they're a bit older, and all of the birds have the same diet and the same amount of light: about 14-16 hours, as they're indoors and get artificial light after nightfall. They're in the same part of the room, even, with the condo on top of the larger cage.
    So what gives?? Why aren't my single ladies laying eggs, too?
    I thought buttons would lay without a male.

    At this rate it's going to take ages to get enough quail eggs to make cupcakes.[​IMG]
     
  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    You are lucky, I am trying to stop mine laying eggs! My females keep laying eggs all over the place, and I am worried that it will be bad for their health in the long run.

    I would like one to go broody, but it never happens, even with nest boxes and lots of hay and privacy.

    What are you going to do with the eggs you get? Are you really going to eat them? They are so small!

    I think the females will start laying soon. They might not be laying if they are stressed by something, for example, they don't like to be in groups, they like pairs only. You can keep them in groups is a large aviary, but not in a normal sized indoor cage.

    Also if you provide them with plenty of cover and hiding places that will make them feel more secure. Make sure you are feeding them hight protein food like game birds crumble or chick starter, together with calcium like crushed oyster shell or cuttle bone.
     
  3. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, i am really going to eat them! I originally wanted chickens but we live in a bad area, so outdoor hutches aren't safe.
    I didn't have the space indoors to accommodate a larger bird, but i learned that quail lay regularly enough and i figure five quail eggs equals about one chicken egg so i got five quail females. The man i bought them from threw in the male for free. It's only now that i'm finding my original information was incorrect and they're not flock birds.
    Shoulda joined BYC sooner...[​IMG]

    Luckily, my females are really closely bonded and they've got tons of hides in their pen. My boyfriend jokingly calls it the "Ritz Carlton for Quails."
    They eat Harrison's organic bird food (about 25% protein) mixed with wild quail seed, a separate dish for freeze-dried bugs mixed with commercial egg food, and another dish for oyster shell. They also get kale, live mealworms, sprouted birdseed in pie pans for grazing, timothy hay crumbs, and fruit/veggie scraps from the kitchen.
    These are gonna be some top-notch eggs, even if they are totally teeny.

    I don't use eggs often, usually only for baking, so this seemed like a good alternative to buying six expensive organic eggs, using one or two, and binning the rest when i don't get to them before they go off.
     
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're absolutely positive they are female?
     
  5. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely sure, unless somebody's a really, really good faker.
    I've got a double factor blue face, a wild type, and two tuxedos. Everybody's got a brown rump, no bibs or mustaches, and they all make girly sounds. I thought my littlest tuxedo might possibly have been a male, as she was the loudest and first to sound flock calls, but she's got brown rump feathers and a wide vent compared to the wild-type male, and now she's making the female "danger" call when she gets alarmed.

    The man i bought them from said they were all three weeks when i bought them, but i think the little one and my other tuxedo may have been younger.
     
  6. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you thought of trying some Japanese Quail. They are much bigger, but smaller than a chicken. Then are also very tame and friendly and mine like to be picked up. The Chinese painted quails (button quails) are usually very nervous birds, and don't like to be handled.

    The Japanese Quails are the ones used by the quail egg farmers, and their eggs are much bigger - they are the typical quail egg you will see in the supermarket or when you eat out.

    I like both kinds, but if I was wanting eggs to eat I would recommend the Japanese Quails.
     
  7. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, food for thought!
    Right now i'm a little full up on space, but i would like to have some Japanese quail and when we move to a place with a little more room and a little less crime, i think i'll give them a try. And maybe chickens as well!

    I really do like the buttons. They're not affectionate but they are friendly and curious. One lets me hold her, and the rest will eat from my hands if i hold very still.
     

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